Heath Harrison's Day At Southwick | MX 2016

Heath Harrison went 12-19 for 16th overall at round 7

Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath Harrison from Silverhill, Alabama is a true privateer doing the Pro Motocross tour out of his own Sprinter van with him, his mechanic and one bike on the road and going to all the east coast rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. Heath, a long time journeyman privateer, has started to turn heads the last couple of weeks after he started the tour at High Point. Heath has been moving up the results sheet every week since he has joined the series at round four. Heath’s results so far are High Point 19-21 for 22nd overall, Muddy Creek 12-15 for 13th overall, RedBud 14-17 for 14th overall and Southwick 12-19 for 16th overall. The most surprising thing about Heath’s results is that he’s doing it all on one bike. He uses the same bike during the week to practice on then his mechanic preps it for raceday on the Fridays before the Nationals. Heath has been a Kawasaki guy for many years in Supercross and motocross, but over the spring while in Texas he had a chance to ride a friend’s KTM 250F and noticed that he liked it a lot. So He called his sponsor, dealership Got Gear, to see if they would be able to get him a KTM Factory Edition 450F. Got Gear was able to get him one bike and he started his prep for the Outdoors a month before the High Point round.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath went into the first practice session knowing that he had to turn his fast lap as soon as possible as the track would get rougher each lap that the 450 A group was on it. Heath said that he did not time the first five minutes like he wanted because instead of taking the green flag at the end of his second lap he had to do another lap before he would go on the clock. Heath was able to turn a 2:06.877 on his 5th lap to qualify 13th in the A group session. This would give him the 21st gate pick in moto one because many of the group B riders had faster times since they got to go out on the smooth surface first. Heath turned a 2:10.835 in the 2nd time practice, which is always slower than the first practice at Southwick because the sandy track gets tougher after every lap on it.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
With the 21st gate pick Heath lined up on an inside gate for moto one. Heath stands in front of his bike and mechanic as the national Anthem is played before the race. Heath’s KTM is bone stock with the exception of an FMF pipe and the handlebars. His suspension is the WP air fork tuned by Fast Lap Suspension and MX Tech, who has made some pretty cool works parts. Heath said that his suspension is very good and he loves it.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath got a good start in moto one by hugging the inside as everyone went wide in the first turn.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath was in the top ten for most of the moto and said that he broke his rear brake petal off around the ten minute mark and just had to soldier through it and get the best finish as possible. Heath stayed in the 10th place until the last two laps when Broc Tickle and Andrew Short got by him. Heath said that he thought he might have been able to hold them off if his brake petal was still there.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath rails the outside berm on the corner above Buckley’s berm. Heath has his own sand track in Alabama and considers himself a pretty good sand rider and knows the right lines to take to keep his momentum up on a sand track. Heath would finish the moto in 12th place and was happy with the result considering his brake problem.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath got to battle with Justin Brayton in the middle of moto one. Between the motos Heath was able to get a new brake petal from Justin’s BTO Sports KTM Team. Heath was very thankful and made sure that he told us were it came from.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
In moto two Heath’s start wasn’t as good as his first start. After the first lap Heath was in 23rd place. He said that he did not make any change to his bike all day and usually stays with the same setup all day on race day.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath was able to make his way up to 17th on lap three by taking any line possible to make his way back to the top 15. Around the ten minute mark Heath collided with a rider and went down pretty hard. His bars were tweaked at the clamps but he decided to keep going for a lap or two before he had to dart in the pits and have his mechanic straighten them the best he could. Heath went a lap down and was recorded in 33rd place after his pit stop. Heath made a charge and was able to get to 19th place at the end of the second moto.Photo by Rob Koy
Heath Harrison, Southwick MX 2016
Heath Harrison went 12-19 for 16th overall at Southwick and believes that he would have made a top ten overall if he did not have the rear brake and handlebar issues. Heath said that he would have been happy with these results at Muddy Creek but now he has some new goals going into Spring Creek next week. Heath thinks that he should be able to score a top ten overall in the weeks to come. This week will be a busy week for Heath and his mechanic as they travel to Millville, MN. The bike now has 35 hours on it and Heath is planning on putting in a new top end before Spring Creek. Heath is a true privateer trying to break into the top ten in the elite class in the outdoor series. He said he would like to thank all the people who have helped him with his expenses and all his sponsors that have made it possible for him to race. As of right know Heath is not planning on going to Washougal in two weeks but there has been some buzz that a former pro rider is trying to get some more support for Heath and his mechanic to fly out and race someone’s bike out there. There is also some talk of helping Heath get another bike so he doesn’t have to race and practice on the same bike. If Heath continues to improve every week in the 450 class there should definetly be some help in the near future. Keep an eye out for the #99 KTM of Heath Harrison.Photo by Rob Koy